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Sometime back I read about a trick to isolate queens that involved putting a couple frames of brood in a deep with 8 drawn but empty frames.
All the bees in the hive were shaken/brushed into this deep and a queen excluder put on top .
The rest of the brood frames both capped and open were placed in box(es) above the excluder.
The theory was all the nurse bees but a few would go above the excluder in a day or two and the queen and some nurses would stay below .
Then the queen box could be moved,all the workers would fly back to the old site and a nuc could be made with the queen and the original hive would make a new queen.
Can someone point me to where I read this plan?
TIA
 

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Hi Popeye. What you're describing is called the Doolittle method, invented or at least describe by G.M. Doolittle probably a bit over 100 years ago. It's a well known method for making a split (the top box can be put on its own bottom board and they will make a queen), or for isolating the queen. In the top box would be mostly nurse, not many workers. But indeed, if you put the top box on its own board near the original hive, the workers will fly back. It's a very well known method. All you have to do is google or search on Beesource Doolittle split and you'll get more information than you know what to do with.
 

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There is not much to say other that what you already wrote! You pretty much spelled out the whole plan. I use this plan when I want to retire a queen because I am very bad at finding a queen. The moved hive with original queen will have very few bees left so you can find and retire the queen. On the flip side, it will take long time to rebuild if you decide to keep the old bee around.
 

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I do something resembling that but I find the queen and move her into a hive body with a couple frames of wet brood and separate her from the parent colony below by putting a queen excluder above the hive body/s , a super or two, another excluder and put the split off queen and her couple frames of brood on top with a separate and small entrance. The queen never slows down laying as nurse bees come up to tend the brood above and brood rapidly is capped below. The emergency queen is raised below and the super or two in the middle get filled with honey. Depending on resources and season, I may have to add supers both above the bottom excluder and sometimes add another excluder on top and super there too. about twenty percent of the time a hive fails to bring off the emergency queen and you have the lady up above waiting to be recombined. By now swarm season will be over and she will probably be superceded and you will end up with a young queen. If your emergency queen works, you can kill the queen on top and recombine the brood or you can put the upper brood chamber on its own bottom board and have another colony.

This is a little cumbersome but I have done it successfully several times. I won't do it this year because it appears I have over ordered queens.
 

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For the past 2 years, I have used this method to split my hives. A more experienced beek in our club said that this method will not stop the original queen from swarming, it will just delay it a bit. He was absolutely correct. Every single split I made from the hives, the original hive still built swarm cells and has swarmed are in the process of swarming. Next year, I am going to try something different.
 
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